Philanthropy Statistics - Corporate and Community Foundations

philanthropy statistics

Foundation grantmaking seems to be stablizing, according to the State of Grantseeking Spring 2011 report that PhilanTech and GrantStation recently released.

While the information in that survey was drawn from grantseekers (nonprofits and other entities that are recipients of grants), new figures just published by the Foundation Center suggest that giving decreased in 2010, though it decreased less than it had the previous two years.  Reflecting a sense of cautious optimism, a slight majority of foundations expect their giving to increase in 2011.

A few numbers:

  • Corporate foundation giving increased 0.2% in 2010.  When adjusted for inflation, corporate foundation giving actually decreased by 1.6%;
  • The amount of corporate foundation giving - $4.7 billion - is virtually unchanged for the past couple of years;
  • 52% of corporate foundations expect their giving to increase in 2011;
  • Community foundation giving overall decreased 2.1%, following a 7.1% decrease the previous year;
  • Interestingly, community foundations reported a median increase of 2.5%;
  • While community foundation giving dropped from a high of $4.5 billion in 2008 to $4 billion in 2010, 50% of community foundations expect giving to increase in 2011, while an additional 16% predict that their giving will remain steady;
  • Community foundations represent the fastest-growing segment of foundation giving (adjusted for inflation) since 2000 (49% growth, compared to 24% for corporate foundations and 20% for independent foundations).

Both community foundations and corporate foundations currently account for approximately 10% of total foundation giving (with operating foundations accounding for another tenth, and independent foundations comprising the balance of foundation giving at approximately 70%). 

Given that independent foundations are the largest segment of foundation grant funds by quite a margin, it's difficult envisioning a return to pre-recession giving levels until foundation assets have recovered.  The good news is that foundation assets increased 5% in 2010; the bad news is that, at $621 billion, they are still quite shy of the pre-recession high of $682 billion.  With the rolling three-year average used by most private foundations to determine the 5% required annual expenditure, we may yet be in for a couple of years of recovery before foundation giving fully returns.


Author: Dahna Goldstein
May 02, 2011, 11:32 AM

Philanthropy Statistics – Giving In Numbers

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The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy released the “Giving In Numbers” report highlighting current trends in corporate philanthropy.

Among the findings:

  • 60% of surveyed corporations gave less in 2009 than they did in 2008.  Interestingly, the percentage of corporations that decreased giving the 2008, in the first big philanthropy hit of the financial crisis, was lower (46%);
  • Total giving by corporations increased 7%, which seems contradictory given the number of corporations that decreased their giving, but is accounted for by significant increases in pharmaceutical company donations (including large amounts of in-kind medicine donations) and increased company giving as a result of mergers and acquisitions;
  • A key point - and something that differentiates corporate giving (as a whole) from other types of institutional giving (as a whole) is the amount of non-foundation giving.  Corporate giving numbers include in-kind donations (frequenly product donations), matching gifts (from employee donations), company giving, and foundation giving.  There has been increasing talk about strategic alignment of corporate philanthropy (and corporate social responsibility) programs, which helps explain why product/in-kind donations may not always fall as quickly as cash donations, even in bad economic times;
  • That said, corporate foundation cash giving was the most stable giving source (i.e., fluctuated the least) of the different giving sources examined in the survey.

The report indicates corporations' dedication to continuing to support their communities, particularly in difficult economic times, which I find encouraging, particularly if those corporations are finding strategic alignments for their philanthropy -- making philanthropy not an afterthought, or something good to do, but something that is a necessary part of the way they do business.

Nonprofits seeking donations from corporations should take away a few key points -- that they should not necessarily rely on continued corporation support, that they should focus on aligning their proposals with corporations' strategic objectives, and that they should find the companies in their communities that are committed to serving the type of organization that is looking for funding.  In addition, grantseekers should think about what non-cash benefits and relationships they might be able to form on an ongoing basis with companies in their communities.


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Author: Dahna Goldstein
November 02, 2010, 02:00 PM

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